Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Allie Cup to be expanded to 16 teams next season

Published:Monday | July 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Former players and coach of Excelsior High School (second right) together at the lauch of the Allie Cup. From left are Christopher Bailey, Clint Reid, Allan ‘Skill’ Cole Snr, Frank Brown and Carlton ‘Sambo’ Hammond. The launch was held at the school on Friday. Excelsior won the first staging of the competition.

Carlton 'Sambo' Hammond, committee member of the inaugural Allie Cup preseason schoolboy football tournament being held in honour of former Excelsior Manning Cup captain, Allie Cole Jr, at the school, says they intend to expand from eight to 16 teams next year.

The tournament kicked off at Excelsior High Friday with an opening ceremony and group matches, and apart from being pleased with the start of the competition, Hammond said they want to continue growing. He added that they will play a champions of champions match between the Allie Cup winners and champions of a Middlesex-Surrey preseason schoolboy competition played at Kirkvine annually.

"Next year, we will expand to 16 teams. [Manning Cup] group winners (2018) will automatically [qualify for] to Allie Cup. Then, we will survey lesser teams and see what they need to make themselves better," Hammond said.

They also plan for an all-star team to play an east Kingston side. "The tournament, in the future, will be one week of straight football," he said.

Cole Jr envisioned the tournament before he passed earlier this year, and the committee ensured that it materialised. "The trophy is in Allie's name, and Excelsior players all wear number 10 to represent him. It's his day, his trophy, it's all about him and his legacy of trying to help community youths," he said.

"It's a honour to carry this off. There is no other tournament in Jamaica that is free and you get balls, bibs and cones just to attend, so I am really pleased with what I have seen,"

he added.

Allan Cole Sr said the event is most fitting. "This is in memory of Allie, who was full of good energy. To him, his school and football was everything, so it is just fitting," he said.

"The people appreciated it, and I am happy about it." he added.